Supervisor Mark Farrell’s Statement on Four Years as Budget Chair and Leading San Francisco’s Land Use & Transportation Committee
For the past four years, I have been honored to Chair our Budget and Finance Committee and lead our City’s crucial budget process and ultimate approval. It is also rewarding to have been the longest serving Budget Chair in our City’s history.
As Chair, I have made addressing homelessness, affordability, the cost of living and improving public safety and the quality of life for all San Franciscans my top priorities. I believe my work as Budget Chair reflects that.
While our local economy is strong, I also prioritized fiscal prudence and responsibility. I am proud as Chair to have allocated record amounts of savings into our City’s budget reserves to protect against the next economic downturn and the severe City budget cuts that follow.
I am particularly proud to have overseen $81 million in new investments for homeless housing and support services to help the homeless towards a path of self-sufficiency. During the height of our housing affordability crisis in 2015, I led the effort to secure an all-time City record of $25 million in identified Board budget savings for new affordable housing production and needs.
When first elected to the Board, I ran because our City was beginning to recover from the depths of the Great Recession and no member of the Board had any private sector financial experience that I felt was crucial to help guide our City towards budget solvency and strength.
I am particularly thankful to all of my Board colleagues, Mayor Lee, his Budget Directors and Budget Office, the Controller’s Office, and the Budget and Legislative Analyst for their years of partnership and efforts on multiple City budgets.
Now, after four years as Budget Chair, I am excited to pursue a new chosen challenge as the Board’s Land Use and Transportation Committee Chair. I am ready to lead and oversee important land use, housing, development, and transportation projects and policies in my new capacity as Land Use Chair.
I offer congratulations to our Board’s new Budget Chair, Supervisor Malia Cohen. I look forward to working with Chair Cohen and all of my colleagues on the Board to ensure that our City budget continues to reflect the top priorities and values of San Francisco and all San Franciscans.